Ubisoft Files Assassin's Creed Counter-Suit

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Ubisoft Files Assassin's Creed Counter-Suit

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Ubisoft has turned the tables on the author who claimed that Assassin's Creed ripped off his ideas.

In April, you may recall, author John Beiswenger filed a lawsuit against Ubisoft, claiming that many of the central ideas in Assassin's Creed were lifted from his 2003 novel Link. Yesterday he voluntarily dismissed the suit, not because he saw any error in his ways but because he just couldn't afford to carry it through. He dismissed "without prejudice," however, which means that he can pick up where he left off if at some point in the future he has the resources to do so.

But Ubisoft is trying to head off that potential future hassle by filing a complaint of its own, seeking a declaration that the franchise does not infringe upon Beiswenger's work and that his claims are based on "patently non-copyrightable elements."

"A declaration is necessary to enable Ubisoft to continue to develop and market creative content under the Assassin's Creed brand free from the cloud that Beiswenger's meritless claims have placed over Ubisoft's right to do so," the complaint says.

"Ubisoft believes this suit was frivolous and without merit, and is seeking a ruling to prevent future related claims," the company said in a statement. "We are proud of our creative teams and will continue to vigorously defend the intellectual property they develop."

Aside from the ruling against Beiswenger, it also seeks legal costs incurred by the lawsuit and whatever "further relief" the court finds appropriate.

Source: Gamasutra

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the American Dream.

Damn! That Beiswenger guy just got owned! He only wanted money anyway, best to nip this in the bud than let him try do it again.

You can sue someone for being a greedy attention whore?
Kim Kardashian better watch that fat ass of hers

Hell Yes. I fully support this. Burn the bastard. If the dude wanted to make money, he shouldn't have become an author. Don't take it out on other people just because you're a talentless hack at the career you stupidly chose.

I predict an out of court notice basically saying, you can't patent this, and don't try to sue us again over this, or else.

The "further relief" bit is chilling.

Yes, Beiswenger's suit was frivolous, ill-conceived, and stupid.

But that's why Ubisoft has a legal team and the resources of a small nation to defend themselves.

Beiswenger is just an individual with a crappy self-published book, and now he's going to face the wrath of an enormous, well-funded corporation and its baying pack of legal hounds.

Something doesn't seem right with this picture.

phoenix352:
the American Dream.

HAHAHAHAHA Did you even read where these are taking place?

OT: I hope Ubisoft wins, I read the book and it was complete shit. The writer is obviously attempting to make money off of Ubisoft only because they are doing successful.

LOL!

That is all.

Oh right low content post. XP

Well, come on this was obviously not gonna work out in this random author's favour was it? A counter-suit sounds pretty badass. He was going to get his shit ruined in court anyway.

Yeah out of court it's gonna be. The guy probably can't afford a lawyer and Ubisoft won't want to pay for a full on legal team. Plus the guy doesn't have a leg to stand on in court.

Wow big company vs little baby author and i'm agreeing with the company? Ubisoft were always nice guys I see XD

Just don't try to fire/sue your staff after they finish making a best selling game and we'll be best friends still, ok Ubisoft?

leahzero:
The "further relief" bit is chilling.

Yes, Beiswenger's suit was frivolous, ill-conceived, and stupid.

But that's why Ubisoft has a legal team and the resources of a small nation to defend themselves.

Beiswenger is just an individual with a crappy self-published book, and now he's going to face the wrath of an enormous, well-funded corporation and its baying pack of legal hounds.

Something doesn't seem right with this picture.

I'd say Ubisoft is pretty justified here. The guy only backed off once he got some money, and essentially left a note saying that he'll probably be back for more. If Ubisoft doesn't prove that his claims were frivolous in court, he will be back for more, and Ubisoft doesn't want a potential suit hanging over their heads in the middle of development for a game directly related in said suit. He decided to take on a large corporation in a stupid suit, now he's reaping what he sowed.

Terminate421:

phoenix352:
the American Dream.

HAHAHAHAHA Did you even read where these are taking place?

whats that got to do with anything...
it was a swing at how people are suing each other for the dumbest things, you know just like Americans always do.
and since these lawsuits are what id call pretty damn stupid just like lawsuits in America i called it the American dream ....

and now that i had to explain it to you it isn't as funny anymore.
glad your happy with yourself.

captcha: pipe down... topical.

Speaking as someone who took the time to read over Beiswenger's lawsuit I think Ubi are well within their rights to do this. The suit was utterly frivolous, anyone with a brain could point to other examples of media that used the concept he claims is his own.

I know some might be thinking "The evil corporation is attacking this poor misguided gentleman" but sorry, it doesn't wash. This guy tried to scam a company out of money on an utterly laughable claim, and instead of giving up on it when he couldn't follow through, he deliberately left things in such a state so that he could bring up the suit again later. Rather than put up with this idiot's harassment, Ubisoft is smacking him down and sending a message to people who would make such frivolous claims in the future against them.

If Beiswenger had even a shred of content that linked his novel to the series I might feel sorry for him, but the lawsuit document and every excerpt I've been able to find of the book (which I haven't been able to find a copy of anywhere besides his shitty self-publication platform's retail site, and I'm not paying $40 to confirm what is already pretty obvious: That his book is bad and has only the vaguest of thematic links that are shared by hundreds of other works, not just Assassins Creed) has not shown the slightest indication of that.

I actually think this is really harsh action on Ubisofts behalf. The guy dismissed the lawsuit (although he can pick it up again) because he can't afford it, now Ubisoft are dragging him back in.

leahzero:

Beiswenger is just an individual with a crappy self-published book, and now he's going to face the wrath of an enormous, well-funded corporation and its baying pack of legal hounds.

Something doesn't seem right with this picture.

He should have thought about that when he decided he was gonna throw-down against a huge corporation. The other thought, if Ubisoft doesn't do something about this now, as a company it shows that they are willing to put up with every punk that wants a piece of their intellectual pie. Business doesn't work that way. My personal opinion is that they are completely justified in their decision, they need to ensure this guy doesn't continue to be nuissance and disrupt their business.

you may not like the online stuff but you should give them props for this.

While Beiswenger was a tool even when he was backing off, I think there's a considerable claim to be made for Ubisoft to have just let it drop and to have been the bigger man in this situation. So what if he can bring back the suit whenever he wants. He has no case and your lawyers outclass his, so he's going to lose the case, lose even more money and make himself look like an idiot every time. Doing this is just going to make Ubisoft seem like the bully when it has no need to do so.

vxicepickxv:
I predict an out of court notice basically saying, you can't patent this, and don't try to sue us again over this, or else.

I suspect you're right. Ubi knows they aren't going to get any money out of him, but the threat of an enormous fine is likely sufficient incentive to get a formal legal agreement out of him.

razer17:
I actually think this is really harsh action on Ubisofts behalf. The guy dismissed the lawsuit (although he can pick it up again) because he can't afford it, now Ubisoft are dragging him back in.

He dismissed with "without prejudice", as the article says...it gives him the ability to bring it back up if he chooses. All he really did was put it on the back burner until he has the money to pursue it. Better to cut the head off the snake and bury it, rather than get bitten later.

DVS BSTrD:
You can sue someone for being a greedy attention whore?
Kim Kardashian better watch that fat ass of hers

No, you can't sue over someone doing something for attention. However you can sue someone over a frivolous lawsuit, wast of time, setting demands which could lead to loss for one party and slander. He set demands to the court that prevented Ubisoft from releasing Assassin's Creed 3 until after the lawsuit was settled. If that had caused a delay that could be bad for Ubisoft since they could miss the Christmas season and lost tons of money. He also caused a waste of resources for court expences and time that could have been spent elsewhere.

He has made himself guilty of charges that make him open to lawsuit. Attention grabbing has nothing to do with it.

OT: Even though I don't think he deserves anything from this and I was almost gleeful to see that he had to give up his suit because he couldn't afford it I almost wish Ubisoft wouldn't do this. Ubisoft can easily afford the expences of going through with a trial, but he can't. What he said about that it's practically impossible to stand up to a big company when you're only a person or a small company rings with a sound of truth. Big corporations have a lot of influence and I'd say they got too much. Their lawsuit is justified, but still this is harsh.

Hungry Donner:

vxicepickxv:
I predict an out of court notice basically saying, you can't patent this, and don't try to sue us again over this, or else.

I suspect you're right. Ubi knows they aren't going to get any money out of him, but the threat of an enormous fine is likely sufficient incentive to get a formal legal agreement out of him.

This is the likeliest outcome. They don't give a damn about Beiswenger's money, they just want him to publicly back off and take his ridiculous lawsuit with him.

Bam! Nip that shit in the bud. As much as I'll still be grumbling about AC:R up until launch of AC3, I don't want anything to interrupt one of the most successful and creative IPs in gaming. Tangential relations to an obscure work of science fiction that was marginalized is no reason to stall a well-developed series.

Why no, I'm not biased at all.

I'm glad Ubisoft didn't come out demanding a crazy sum of money along with the protection. Just legal fees, which is reasonable, and anything else the court may find appropriate. Meaning the court may not award anything, so that's that. I think Ubisoft is playing level now, and hopefully they'll stay that way and win this.

I'm getting rather tired of all these court cases in gaming. I swear in the past few years there's been way more than there used to be. I can't remember anything really happening before the past few years or so when suddenly we have loads of these going on.

We have this stuff with Bethesda and the Fallout MMO, the whole "Scrolls" thing, the Infinity Ward vs. Activision case, Epic vs. Silicon Knights, loads of patent infringement claims, and this whole mess too. Can't they all just forget all these pedantic dick waggling contests and get on with doing what this medium is supposed to be about? Having fun. No-one really wins these things anyway. It's just corporations trying to screw each other over.

Guy drops lawsuit because he cant afford it, Ubisoft sues him seeking monetary compensation.

Scumbag Ubisoft.

Well, not really, I see where they are coming from, they want to be able to continue making Assassin's Creed games without the fear of another lawsuit from someone that claims they are ripping off their work through plot related idea's.

Which, if that is the case, Hollywood would be a legal battleground right now for people claiming other movies ripped off their own.

Scrustle:
I'm getting rather tired of all these court cases in gaming. I swear in the past few years there's been way more than there used to be. I can't remember anything really happening before the past few years or so when suddenly we have loads of these going on.

We have this stuff with Bethesda and the Fallout MMO, the whole "Scrolls" thing, the Infinity Ward vs. Activision case, Epic vs. Silicon Knights, loads of patent infringement claims, and this whole mess too. Can't they all just forget all these pedantic dick waggling contests and get on with doing what this medium is supposed to be about? Having fun. No-one really wins these things anyway. It's just corporations trying to screw each other over.

There have tons of legal cases in the past involving the industry, you must of never read about them or they may have not been news worthy.

The guy is a sorta low level patent troll, he has a history of lawsuit against his so called inventions. I think he thought like a lot of other companies he sued, that Ubisoft would cave in and settle.

He also sued GameTrailers from what I've been reading. Anyone know what that lawsuit was about? Why did they settle?

"patently non-copyrightable elements"
silly ubisoft, it's 2012, we copyright individual lines of code.

well, he started it, then he showed weakness (not having money), so ubisoft is doing the sensible thing by pressing the advantage (army of legal hounds) in order to resolve the situation on their terms

it's like feudal era japan all over again

weirdguy:
well, he started it, then he showed weakness (not having money), so ubisoft is doing the sensible thing by pressing the advantage (army of legal hounds) in order to resolve the situation on their terms

it's like feudal era japan all over again

I take it that, if Ubisoft win, this man must stop writing books and burn every published copy of his own work in a form of creative haru-kari?

phoenix352:

Terminate421:

phoenix352:
the American Dream.

HAHAHAHAHA Did you even read where these are taking place?

whats that got to do with anything...
it was a swing at how people are suing each other for the dumbest things, you know just like Americans always do.
and since these lawsuits are what id call pretty damn stupid just like lawsuits in America i called it the American dream ....

and now that i had to explain it to you it isn't as funny anymore.
glad your happy with yourself.

captcha: pipe down... topical.

It wasn't funny before, it was a sad attempt at humor that is pretty bigoted especially considering Ubisoft is a predominantly Canadian company, with branches elsewhere.

But good try, America hater!

Thyunda:

weirdguy:
well, he started it, then he showed weakness (not having money), so ubisoft is doing the sensible thing by pressing the advantage (army of legal hounds) in order to resolve the situation on their terms

it's like feudal era japan all over again

I take it that, if Ubisoft win, this man must stop writing books and burn every published copy of his own work in a form of creative haru-kari?

either that, or he becomes one of the vassals of another lord, or an exiled hermit

history has no time for the losers

I don't normally cheer for Ubisoft, but they're not the bigger asshole here.

Get 'im!

Non copyrightable elements hu?

Like the word "Scrolls"?

The guy is a complete moron who thought he could quickly abuse the legal system to get rich easily. However I'm equally as disgusted by the hypocrisy here. These are companies that will sure anyone if they create something that has even the closest resemblance to their product even if it is only the sharing of a single Word in the title.

Yet when the shoe is on the other foot it's all about "non-copyrightable elements".

There is allot of bullshit from the highest quality from both parties in this lawsuit.

Frostbite3789:

phoenix352:

Terminate421:

HAHAHAHAHA Did you even read where these are taking place?

whats that got to do with anything...
it was a swing at how people are suing each other for the dumbest things, you know just like Americans always do.
and since these lawsuits are what id call pretty damn stupid just like lawsuits in America i called it the American dream ....

and now that i had to explain it to you it isn't as funny anymore.
glad your happy with yourself.

captcha: pipe down... topical.

It wasn't funny before, it was a sad attempt at humor that is pretty bigoted especially considering Ubisoft is a predominantly Canadian company, with branches elsewhere.

But good try, America hater!

ignoring the few basic things i explained and attacking me personally because i don't share your illusion, how very American of you.

that serves him right. ubisoft may have a crappy DRM, think that 95% of pc gamers are pirates but they still do good games in the end.
as long AC3 comes out in time, im happy.

thats really a smart move. bash this idiot to the ground that he cant get up anymore. im pretty sure ubisoft wins. they have more resources then him.

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